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Velo Love, Gifts for Velotines Day

That’s right, I said #velotinesday. Start the hashtags now and get your sweetheart biker something nice for this lovely Hallmark holiday.

Velojoy.com, has some cute ideas and put them into a gift guide.
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Maybe a complete bicycle is too much. How about some real love, a rim job. Get your mind outta the gutter, I’m talking a about coat hangers, made from bicycle rims.

I saw this over at Urban Velo.

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Velocity Rims, makers of the classic Deep V’s are now taking their rims that don’t pass quality control and selling them as coat hangers, for $8.00. Now that’s not recycling, it’s up-cycling!!

Here is more from about this product: urbanvelo.org/velocity-rims-clothes-hangers.

And a little taste of Velocity’s operation:

Urbanvelo is a great place to learn about slick bike products such as:

Shimano Gets in the Camera Game: Shimano Sport Camera

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Lightweight, mountable cameras have become a cyclist’s best friend these days. A brand synonymous with bikes themselves, it’s no wonder that Shimano is getting in on the camera game. At 86 grams, Shimano’s Sport Camera weighs less than many bike lights–which is good, since it uses an adhesive mount. Waterproof up to 10 meters and sealed to keep out dust and mud, the camera can record for up to two hours in 1080 HD and offers a standard 135-degree and super wide 180-degree mode. WiFi capable, the Sport Camera settings can be controlled through a smartphone, which can also be used to view footage immediately. What that really means is that all your bike exploits caught on camera can be uploaded and shared before you even get home. Available in May for $299; watch footage from the Sport Camera now at www.shimano-sportcamera.com.

Source: urbanvelo.org/shimano-gets-in-the-camera-game-shimano-sport-camera

Now if your looking for laughs…here’s a great gift. Remember how the knights got around in Monty Python’s the Holy Grail? Bang a couple of C
coconuts to make a horse sound effect?

Now available for your iron steed.

Check out: Trotify.com k

Slush, Studies and Summits.

One thing cyclists love to do is ride their bicycles…well maybe not in the #slushopoclypse that plagued the streets of NYC over the last couple of days.
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20140205-194726.jpg(Photo by: @ClosestBikeNY )

Even die hard mechanic Hal Ruzal from Bicycle Habitat known for commuting shirtless, (not in this weather) opted for the subway.
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He did however find a sweet bike for the ride home, incase you were worried. 20140205-193743.jpg(photo by: @khp_art )

Bike blogger, Liz Patek at: bikepeacenyc.wordpress.com wrote about getting around in what she called: “Slush-Apaloza.”

Getting from A to B this morning was a hot slushy mess this morning no matter which mode of transportation you chose.

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Read more: here.
Continue reading Slush, Studies and Summits.

the Youth, the Youth…the Youth are on Fire! 2014 Youth Bike Summit-NYC

Once again, Recycle-A-Bicycle is bringing together young people from NYC and around the country to inspire the next bicycle leaders of tomorrow. It’s the 2014 Youth Bike Summit –Next week, February 14th-16th at the New School-55 West 13th St. NYC.

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Mission of the summit:

Youth Bike is an organization that embraces the values of the Youth Bike Summit and fosters our work on a national scale. The structure of this new model more accurately reflects the complexity of our growing movement, its outcomes, and its potential. Youth Bike is a key element in helping to transform the future of national bike advocacy as it takes the necessary steps toward becoming a more accessible, inclusive movement.

Their will be everything from hands on activities, craft making and interactive lecture series on subjects such as LED construction, Bike Zines and strategizing about youth inspired bicycling revolution! (ok, maybe I got carried away.)

Just for a little inspiration, Steve Vance from Chicago Streetsblog has an interview with the Girls Bike Club, an after school program in the Chicago area of young woman cyclists. They’ll be heading to NYC for the YBS and he caught up with them to get their thoughts.

Girls Bike Club Gets Ready For the Spotlight at Youth Bike Summit
by Steve Vance
February 3rd, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 12.47.58 AM

Girls Bike Club, a youth group and after school program at West Town Bikes in Humboldt Park, is gearing up for an expanded role at the Youth Bike Summit in New York City on February 14.

Girls Bike Club has about six core members and meets every Wednesday to organize upcoming bike rides or garden days, hang out, and, for months preceding the summit, plan their involvement.

Having seen the successful Heels on Wheels Fashion Show at the Logan Share last month, I met with Girls Bike Club and one of the volunteer adult facilitators, Sara Laurino, at West Town Bikes to learn more about what they’re up to.

Ulana Coutts, who will be going to the Youth Bike Summit for the first time this year, said the group “focuses on getting girls on bikes, to make it easier for women and girls to be part of the bike community, and to do bike maintenance ourselves.” Marissa Macias added that it’s a “female youth council, to figure out our role as young females.”

Read the whole story and see a video: here.

20 is Plenty as Cyclist is Critically Injured Near Street Safety Demonstration

(photos by Liz Patek)

City Council member Brad Lander (39th Council District) joined many street safety activists today in Grand Army Plaza to say: “Visionzero starts today.” Holding up signs that said, “20 is Plenty,” participants are asking for legislation that would require a speed limit of 20 miles an hour to be enforced city wide.

Here is coverage from the Epoch Times on today’s action.

Brooklyn Pushes for 20 mph Speed Limit Citywide
By Catherine Yang
February 2, 2014
20130202-NewYorkCitySpeedlimits-CatherineYang-676x450Community members hold signs, reading “20 is Plenty,” in support of New York state legislation to lower New York City speed limits to 20 mph, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York, Feb. 2, 2014. (Catherine Yang/Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—Nearly a hundred Brooklyn residents showed up at Prospect Park on a day’s notice to show support for a state bill that would allow New York City to reduce the speed limit throughout the city.

The city’s speed limit is currently 30 mph by state law. Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell introduced a bill last month to lower it to 20 mph “except where a different speed is determined appropriate and is indicated by an official sign,” he said. The bill is in review in both the state Senate and Assembly.

Community members held “20 is Plenty” signs, joined by Council member Brad Lander. Other people and cyclists passing by joined in a well.

A nearby resident, Kate Steinberg, said the outpour of support was symbolic of the Brooklyn community being at the forefront of pushing for traffic safety.

Read the story: here.

Sadly the HITS, just keep on coming…just blocks of today’s action.

Today (2/2/14) Gothamist reports:

Cyclist Struck By Car Near Prospect Park2214cyclist (Photo by- Garrick Landsberg )

A cyclist is in serious condition after being struck by a car early this morning near Prospect Park. An FDNY spokesman said that the incident occurred around 6:14 a.m. on Washington Avenue near the intersection of Classon Avenue. The victim was treated for cardiac arrest at the scene and was taken to Kings County Hospital in critical condition. An NYPD spokesman confirmed the incident, but said that no other details were available.
[UPDATE / 4:45 p.m.] An NYPD spokesman said that the victim is a 22-year-old male. The spokesman said that investigators believe that the cyclist and the car were approaching one another in separate lanes when the cyclist moved into the car’s path. No summonses have been issued, and the investigation is ongoing.

Source: Gothamist.com

2/2/14 Demonstration to Demand Homerule for NYC Speed Limits.

Since Brooklyn has now been rated as the second most expensive city to live in…perhaps we can work on it not being the deadliest place to cross a street or ride a bicycle.

Motor vehicles are out of control, smashing into Hardware stores in Staten Island:
staten-island-woman-crashes-through-reimans (from the Staten Island Advance )

You’re not even safe waiting for the bus. Tonight (2/1/14) four people including one child were injured in Woodside Queens, by a driver who fled after plowing into a bus stop. Read more here.

Safe streets activists are trying to work towards #visionzero by demanding a homerule on a 20 mile an hour speed limit.

Sunday, February 2nd will be a demonstration:

COMMUNITY MEMBERS GATHER ON PROSPECT PARK WEST WITH 100 ’20 IS PLENTY’ SIGNS TO DEMAND HOMERULE FOR NYC SPEED LIMITS
When: Sunday, February 2nd at 12 noon
Where: Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn (Union St & Prospect Park West)
Sign
New York, NY: Two new bills before the New York State Legislature, one in the Assembly and one in the Senate, would give homerule to NYC over its speed limits. On Sunday, community members will gather to demonstrate their support for lower speeds on NYC streets.

“This is a crucial step in Mayor de Blasio’s push toward Vision Zero,” said Keegan Stephan, an organizer with Right of Way.

“A pedestrian’s chances of surviving being hit by a vehicle are doubled if the driver is going 20mph instead of 30,” said Charles Komanoff, statistician with Right of Way and author of their study Killed by Automobile. “We’re talking about saving dozens of lives every year.”

“Drivers going 20 mph have more time to react in the event of the unexpected, reducing the frequency of crashes,” said Hilda Cohen, founder of Make Brooklyn Safer.

“Research shows that children 12 and under are cognitively incapable of accurately perceiving vehicle speeds above 20 mph,” added Stephan. “There is no reason drivers need to be going faster than that on our residential streets, in the nation’s most pedestrian-rich city.”

From: rightofway.org/demoforhomerule

New Kind of Strap On, for the Snow that is.

Now they laughed at the Snowboard when it first came out, but how about a snowboard for your mountain bike wheels…
Check out the this Colorado company’s new Bike Boards.

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Might be good for ripping it up in NYC’s deep slush.

Here is a video:

An article from Atlantic Cities:

Strap-on Skis for Your Bicycle
By Jenny Xiejan
January 27th, 2014

There are plenty of ski bicycles on the market, but they all require replacing your tires with skis. Colorado company BikeBoards has come up with a much more elegant way to convert your cycle for the snow.

To use the BikeBoard, secure it to the front tire with a pin and strap. Since the bike’s wheels and gears stay in place, BikeBoard can easily be removed.

According to Gizmag, the BikeBoard has a full steel edge, some sidecut and curved tips, “providing float in deep snow and grip and carving on harder, slicker snow and ice.” It works with fat bikes, BMX, and regular 26-inch and 29-inch mountain bikes. The kit for a single BikeBoard will cost $375.

Read more: here.

Instead of Harassment one Precinct looks for Input on Street Safety

Could be a sign of a new era for street safety. It looks like instead of spending the winter harassing cyclists and ticketing them for running red lights in Central Park (no sign that tactic is officially over) the NYPD may actually be trying to reach out, or at least one precinct is.

An idea that spread out of the Park Slope Street Safety Partnership, a coalition of Park Slope residents working together for safer streets, was to meet regularly with their local police of the 78th precinct.

Since Traffic Safety ideas work much better when the police are behind the implementation, this seems like a happy combination to get things done like putting in giant message board on Prospect Park West alerting drivers of their speed.

Here is more about the inaugural meeting from Streetsblog:

78th Precinct Starts Up Monthly Community Meetings on Street Safety
by Ben Fried
January 30th, 2014

Here’s an idea that should start spreading to police precincts all over the city as NYPD focuses more attention and resources on preventing traffic violence: Brooklyn’s 78th Precinct is starting a new monthly public meeting devoted exclusively to how to improve street safety.

An hour before the regularly scheduled precinct community council meeting, anyone can come to the 78th Precinct house off Sixth Avenue and Bergen Street and talk about street safety issues in Park Slope and Prospect Park with the commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri.

The inaugural traffic safety meeting happened Tuesday night. It was a low-key and friendly affair, where Ameri followed up on ideas that came out of the Park Slope Safe Streets Partnership forum last month. The 78th is going to look into putting a big electronic message board alerting drivers to the new 25 mph speed limit on Prospect Park West, and Ameri wants to help keep curbs clear during pick-ups and drop-offs at schools throughout the precinct. “There’s no reason a kid should have to go between two parked cars after getting off the bus,” he said.

Read more: here.

And speaking of a giant message board…here is an idea focusing on counting something more positive then just the amount of speed a car is going…how about the rate of cyclings popularity.
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Here is a project (crowd funded) for NYC’s first bike counter:

Check out: hivizpublicbikecounter.tumblr.com

An idea, implemented in the bike mecca of America, Portland Oregon…now you can help fund one here in NYC.

Hi-viz public bike counter
NYC’s first public bike counter! Imagine a counter for bikes, used by community projects around NYC. Now imagine the numbers on the screen are legible from 100 ft. That’s the super bright public bike counter.

Here is a link to their Ioby page.

New Administration, New Critical Mass?

This Friday, 1/31/14 is Critical Mass around the world. Same time, Same place…New Administration.

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Union Square North-6:45pm
With the end of the Bloomburg/Kelly Regime and the start of the DiBlasio/Brattan “Obamafication”, we celebrate the settling of 2004 RNC mass arrests to the tune of 18 million dollars. We embrace DeBlasio’s #VisionZero with a healthy skepticism, and take to task the NYPD approach to policing bicycles and mass movements. Does the Regime continue, or do these fresh white faces mean something new?

Still we ride.

Bring: bikes, friends, plans, love, rage, noise, media, lights, cameras, action!

We make the streets!

From this facebook events page.

New Mayor Bill DeBlasio was quoted in response to the 18 million dollar settlement to RNC demonstrators:

“I’m glad the case is settled.”
“We’re going to take a very different view going forward about how we respect people’s rights to express themselves.”

We Shall See…

Then on Saturday, February 1st, 2014–keeping with the theme.

CRITICAL MASS: A TALE OF TWO BICYCLING CITIES
Saturday, February 1, 2014 – 7:00pm
at the Park Slope Food Coop
The Event is Free and you do not need to be a Coop member.

Learn about the Critical Mass bicycle rides in NYC and SF through first-person storytelling, video shorts (two are screening as part of the 2013–14 Bicycle Film Festival in London, Mexico City, Chicago, Istanbul, Lisbon, Milan, with more to follow), and critical discussion. Founded in SF on 9/25/1992, Critical Mass is now an international monthly celebration in more than 300 cities worldwide. – See more at: bikenyc.org/events
– See more at: http://bikenyc.org/event/5728#sthash.m8RVFiWw.dpuf

That’s One Way to Get High, Foster and Partners unveil SkyCycle in London

Whoa, I missed the boat on this one.
Lord Norman Foster is a UK architect who has given us such things in NYC as the Hearst Tower 400px-Hearstowernyc and the new elephant house at the Copenhagen Zoo…Zoo-kbh-2005

He’s also behind the soon to be completed (2016), Two World Trade Center down by the Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan.
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Lord Foster and his, design firm Foster + Partners has a huge list of architectural accomplishments around the world.

At the beginning of 2014 they unveiled their new SkyCycle plan that is slated to bring elevated bikeways above the rail lines of the crowded London streets.

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Here is a short video of this ambitious project:

Here is an article about Foster + Partners plans for a 135 mile elevated bicycle super highway from the Guardian.

Norman Foster unveils plans for elevated ‘SkyCycle’ bike routes in London
By: Oliver Wainwright
January 2nd, 2014

Gliding through the air on a bike might so far be confined to the fantasy realms of singing nannies and aliens in baskets, but riding over rooftops could one day form part of your regular commute to work, if Norman Foster has his way.

Unveiled this week, in an appropriately light-headed vision for the holiday season, SkyCycle proposes a network of elevated bike paths hoisted aloft above railway lines, allowing you to zip through town blissfully liberated from the roads.

The project, which has the backing of Network Rail and Transport for London, would see over 220km of car-free routes installed above London’s suburban rail network, suspended on pylons above the tracks and accessed at over 200 entrance points. At up to 15 metres wide, each of the ten routes would accommodate 12,000 cyclists per hour and improve journey times by up to 29 minutes, according to the designers.

Lord Foster, who says that cycling is one of his great passions, describes the plan as “a lateral approach to finding space in a congested city.”

“By using the corridors above the suburban railways,” he said, “we could create a world-class network of safe, car-free cycle routes that are ideally located for commuters.”

Read more: here.

Norman recently gave a lecture for TED, about modern architecture achievements taking lessons from past necessities.

We’re New, We’re Blue…Get Used to It.

I feel compelled to follow this story because I had to endure a lot of bike share skeptics who we’re determined to predict the worst when winter came. During the obvious success of New York City’s fledgling bike sharing program in the warmer months many haters would say…”Yeah, it’s popular now, but what about the winter? What about the snow plows? Their definitely going to remove the bike stations.” Obvious attempts to prove Citibike is some temporary fluke.

Wrong.

The New York Times reports the bike share is here to stay and being used by New Yorkers despite arctic votex’s, black ice and face bitting conditions:

Snow, Ice and Wind No Issue for Citi Bike’s Die-Hards

20140129-122341.jpgOn Eighth Avenue at 23rd Street on Tuesday, a Citi Bike rider was undeterred by freezing temperatures. The bike-share program is open all year.-photo by: Damon Winter / New York Times
Article by: Matt Flegenheimer
January 28, 2014

It was easy to imagine the blue bikes in fair weather, spinning over the East River during the morning commute, or toward the sidewalk cafes of SoHo for a twilight meal.

Yet as Citi Bike, the bike-share program in New York, quickly evolved from curiosity to lifeline to verb, even supporters acknowledged that a reckoning would arrive as the calendar turned to winter.

Read the entire article: here.